Fundraising Lessons Learned in 2022

2022 was a challenging year for non-profits. The pandemic has faded, but the aftereffects will linger for years. With the economic downturn, many donors began to trim their donations as the year ended. Read more in this post about the lessons we learned in 2022 that will guide our strategies going forward.

1. A Diverse Contributed Revenue Stream Has Never Been More Critical

Non-profits that are overly reliant on event revenue, government support/contracts or foundation grants experienced challenges during the past two years, Events were cancelled or reformatted, foundations shifted giving priorities and government funding became more complicated. Those nonprofits with a diversified contributed revenue stream were able to weather the storm better than some others. It’s always important to have a mix of different revenue sources, such as individual donors, corporate sponsorships, and foundation grants.

2. Engage with Your Donors in Ways That Are Important to Them

In this economy, it’s crucial that your donors buy in to your mission. Engage your donors and make them feel that they are a part of your non-profit. It’s important that your organization stands out from the crowd. Send them updates on how their donations are being used and the impact they’re having. lnvite them to events (virtual or in-person). Show potential donors exactly how their contributions will make a difference. Tell compelling stories about the impact your organization is making. Steward your corporate and foundation supporters as if they were major individual donors. And thank them often!

Not all donors think or behave alike. 2022 was also a year of transition as younger donors continued to make their mark on philanthropy. Older generations tend to give more money but younger generations are more likely to give their time and talents. Going forward, it will be more and more important to find ways to engage all age groups in your fundraising efforts. One way to do this is by using technology, such as online donation platforms or text-to-give campaigns. Remember that small, engaged donors of today are your major donors of tomorrow.

3. A 12 Month, Strategic Development Plan Can Help Weather the Ups and Downs

Almost all organizations were caught by surprise during the pandemic and that makes sense. No one, in any industry, saw this coming or knew what it meant. Hopefully, that uncertainty is behind us. Those organizations who showed the strongest results in 2022 had a plan and they worked their plan. This means setting a goal, perhaps even a stretch goal, and outlining the steps to take to get there. Not all pieces will fall into place as expected, but those without a plan will find it hard to achieve success.

4. Always Work Toward Your Goal

We might be on the edge of an economic cliff, or we might see a rebounding economy by mid-2023. No one can predict the twists and turns of our economy, but the important lesson to remember is to never stop fundraising. Whether it is hosting an event or inviting a donor for a tour or looking at your data to find unrealized potential, there is always work to be done. It requires being nimble and disciplined at the same time.

Despite the challenging environment, it is important to continue to embrace concrete fundraising goals for the benefit of those you serve. Our trend forecast for 2023 in our next blog will set the stage for how to succeed in the coming year.

Hammond & Associates is here to help you tailor a program that best meets your needs so that your mission is supported and your donors stay with you through all types of challenges.